U.S. agencies are poised to lose 35,167 jobs in 2020 and another 16,758 in 2021, according to a new report from Forrester—devastating their businesses and leading to a migration of talent to other sectors and increased adoption of automation.
The recession will continue to have an uneven impact across the different types of agencies, according to the report. Layoffs in advertising agencies have been more severe, averaging 15 percent of staff per layoff compared with 7 percent at digital and media agencies. This will “accelerate structural change in the agencies and bring about new levels of integration, dismantling the channel specialties that long defined the lines between creative, media and digital," the report said.
“It’s a pretty dismal forecast for the agencies certainly,” says Forrester analyst Jay Pattisal, author of the report. “We’re looking at two years of negative growth, and when we forecast what the negative marketing spending will be toward agency services, it results in a significant decrease in the workforce.”